Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

May 30, 2005

One Reason I Miss California

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:22 pm

I grew up in California, which is one of the most geographically diverse and beautiful places in the world. Here’s another reason why I miss it:

A snowy winter and a spring thaw has caused waterfalls to spring up around California. (ABCNEWS)

California Thaw Yields Spectacular Waterfalls

Long, Snowy Winter Fuels Nearly Unprecedented Spring Cascades Down Mountainsides

By Brian Rooney

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., May 28, 2005 — After a long and snowy winter, the spring thaw has brought a bloom of waterfalls to the mountains of California unlike anything seen for many years.

Waterfalls cascade for hundreds of feet, zig-zag down mountain faces, and explode at the bottom in clouds of mist.

Chris Shaffer, a nature writer, has spent years seeking out hidden waterfalls, compiled into his book, “A Definitive Guide to Waterfalls of Southern and Central California.” He said there are as many as 100 waterfalls running hard right now that typically are dry in a normal rain year.

“They talk about the 100-year bloom of the flowers,” Shaffer said. “Well, this could be the 100-year power of these waterfalls. They’re flowing at a force right now that we may not see again for several decades.”

Of course, if my schedule were as chaotic in my hypothetical life there as it is in my actual life here, I wouldn’t have time to see that stuff anyway. And, unfortunately, I’ve never actually been to Yosemite. :-(

In Memoriam (2)

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:00 pm

Seen before, but worth repeating, especially today, as did Babalú Blog.


By Charles M. Province

It is the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves under the flag,
Whose coffin is draped in the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

(© Charles M. Province)

In Memoriam

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:00 pm

I wanted to write something about Memorial Day, but as much as I appreciate — or perhaps because I appreciate so much — the sacrifices of those who gave (or “merely” risked) their lives to protect our freedom, I get tounge-tied when trying to talk about it. Fortunately, another blogger has (unknowingly) come to my rescue — Doctor Bean
has said exactly what I want to say. I’m reproducing it with [minor changes] and deletions to adjust things apply to him and not me.

I have dozens of work and family obligations to fulfill before this weekend, but it would be wrong to let Memorial Day come without some reflection on its meaning.

I own my home and [potentially could] my own business because of property rights we usually take for granted that do not exist in many countries. I worship as I please, which can not be said in Saudi Arabia or Yemen [or China, except for foreigners]. My family is safe, which would not be true in much of Africa. I can criticize my government publicly, and frequently do right here in the Coffeehouse, which would be a criminal act in China [or Saudi Arabia, and until recently a capital offense in Iraq].

These freedoms are the bedrock of our lives upon which everything else is built. Our families, our individual traditions, our professions and our leisure would all be swept aside in an instant if tyranny replaced liberty.

All these abundant blessings were bought with the lives of American soldiers. On Memorial Day, we stop to realize this; we honor their sacrifice; we offer our heartfelt thanks to the families who grieve for the loss which helped sustain our nation. May we all strive to live in a way that is worthy of such sacrifice.

Here’s a concrete way we can show our appreciation. I’m going to ask ball-and-chain to break out a credit card and donate to one of these. Please do the same.

I’m going to add:

  • Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, which “honors the bravery and dedication exhibited by Americans in our armed forces who have sacrificed life or limb by providing educational scholarships to their children.”
  • Enduring Freedom KIA Fund, which provides emergency cash assistance to those killed in action in the present conflict.
  • Lest They Be Forgotten, which has taken on a mission “to create, establish, and help maintain hometown memorials in honor of the brave men and women who have lost their lives defending the United States of America in the war against terrorism.”

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